Destinations for students, travelling is a way to gain a better global perspective and learn more about life. At the same time, it’s also about having a good time and meeting new people. That’s probably why students tend to flock towards sunnier locales, where the opportunity for cultural exploration and enjoying the scenery can both be realized. Sun lovers have quite a few options to choose from, but the following destinations are likely to rise to the top of the list.
Image by : Phil Dolby
Always a favorite among gap year students, the island continent is rimmed with sunny coastlines and world-class cities. Sydney may get all the attention, but Melbourne is quietly considered Australia’s cultural capital. It’s also surrounded by beautiful coastline and beaches. Many students choose to take to the open road and follow Great Ocean Road, which is a scenic drive that passes amazing cliffs and rock formations.
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Sun-seekers will also want to consider visiting tropical Cairns, in the northeast corner of Australia. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and is home to absolutely marvelous beaches. Reef cruises depart regularly from Cairns and are designed to suit tourists of all snorkeling and diving experience levels.
Thailand’s tropical locale makes for some seriously sunny weather. Its island of Phuket has long been a favorite with European sun seekers, but increasingly students have been gravitating towards more exotic Krabi and Koh Samui. Thailand’s beach towns are friendly on the budget and ideal for active travelers. Students can embark on any number of island-hopping excursions, snorkeling and diving trips, and more.
As appealing as Thailand’s beaches are, the country’s interior is not to be ignored. Bangkok, Thailand capital and cultural hub, is a city that combines ancient temples and palaces with futuristic sky trains and shopping malls. Even on a strict budget, it’s possible to spend days bargain shopping, sampling authentic Thai cuisine, and visiting ancient sites in the Thai Capital. Outside of Bangkok, popular areas include the jungle-trekking hot spot Chiang Mai and history-laden Kanchanaburi – site of the Bridge over the River Kwai.
Mexico is a wonderful mix of pristine beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and ancient sites. The Mexican culture also has plenty to offer first-time visitors. Cancun is a popular place for students to stay in Mexico. Not only does it have breath taking beaches and diverse wildlife, but it’s also within striking distance of multiple famous Mayan sites. Chichen Itza is an easy day trip from Cancun and is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the capital of the Mayan Empire, it contains a remarkable ancient pyramid with 365 steps – one for each day of the year.
Few places are as sunny and warm as Morocco. This fascinating North African country is full of surprises. Travelers typically begin a trip here by first arriving in the bustling city of Marrakech. Full of ancient souks, medinas, and palaces, Marrakech is an ancient desert city full of bright colors, lights, and the aromatic scent of exotic spices. From the city, students can take trips to places like the Ourika Valley. This lush green oasis feel worlds away from Marrakech, but is in fact just a short drive away. Tourists can tour fertile gardens and sample local specialties like mint tea. Further out, the seaside city of Essaouira is another popular excursion from Marrakech. Here, travelers have a rare opportunity to ride camels on the beach.
Expect non-stop action on a trip to sunny Brazil. This vast country has world-famous beaches and beautiful mountains, not to mention the Amazon Rainforest. When it comes to nightlife and hanging out at the beach, Rio de Janeiro is unbeatable. The party never stops in this lively city that is slated to host the next summer Olympic Games. From touring Rio de Janeiro’s nightlife scene, to exploring the rainforest on a cruise down the Rio Negro, students can easily enjoy the delights of Brazil for months.